In the middle of the pandemic and online learning, our goal was to organize and come up with an alternative solution to the graduation show, usually held in the space of Vancouver Community College. The main objective of the event in the past was to connect recent graduates and show what they learned in Graphic Design Diploma Program. This year, after Design Department decided to expand the event to the whole creative community, not just designers or recent graduates.
The event had to be more than just listening to a couple of well-thought-out speeches. Interactive and collaborative were some of the key attributes. Playful, but grown-up and professional.
Identity created for the online event would need to be used again over the next months – so it required to be reused with small adjustments but still feeling like a part of the whole system.
As a target persona, we identified 34 years old female working in the creative field from 1 to 7 years. She loves acquiring new skills, talking about the creative process with colleagues, and would like to have a small business on the side. She is also looking to expand her circle of friends, maybe even person for collaboration on some interesting personal project.
The intent was to attract an audience who might not be familiar with Vancouver Community College. The event was less about the school and program itself and more about connecting with like-minded individuals in the online world.
One of the challenges we faced from the beginning was collaborating just though zoom with other team members and the Design department in our free time. Our design team consisted of three graduates, ex-classmates from Vancouver Community College. We were having our design meeting once a week. At the meeting with the department, we presented our work.
We presented our concept as nostalgic and relationship-based, very consisting of multiple pieces – as the life and experience at the program. This direction wasn’t approved, so we had to go back to the drawing board and start from the beginning. As we focused less on the experience at school itself and more on the growth after, we were able to create less literal representation.
Another challenge we faced was how to promote the event on social media without the budget for social advertising.
We were regularly posting updates about the event, linking to the main website for people to find out more information. We had a short pitch for an event on Creative Mornings (a regular event for designers in Vancouver) and an article on the school website.
The event was successful with almost 90 attendees who were encouraged to exchanged contact information. Our speakers delivered compelling short talks and demo following by discussions in small groups.
While working on this project I learned a lot about social media management, collaboration, and difficulties with organizing an online event. I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team.